US 3405021 A
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Oct. 8, 1968 H. w. MARANO LABEL SENSOR AND APPLICATOR 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed June 24, 1964 INVENTOR #523527 W. MHZ/4N0 Oct. 8, 1968 H. w. MARANO 3,405,021
LABEL SENSOR AND APPLICATOR Filed June 24, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR #:75527- M Maze/v0 ATTORNE S United States Patent 3,405,021 LABEL SENSOR AND APPLICATOR Herbert W. Marano, Summit,'N.J., assignor to Consolidated Cigar Corporation, New York, N.Y., a corporation of Delaware Filed June 24, 1964, Ser. No. 377,748 3 Claims. (Cl. 156-361) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An apparatus for applying tape-carried pressure sensitive labels includes a swingable arm having a sharp separator edge with means being provided for advancing the tape along, the upper face of the arm and sharply about the separator edge. A label sensing star wheel is urged toward the label tape along the arm top face and its periphery is engaged by a follower which actuates a switch which in turn controls the increment advance of the tape.
The present invention relates generally to improvements in label dispensing apparatus. It relates in particular to an improved device for sensin the position of an advancing label.
In order to facilitate the dispensing of pressure-sensitive labels, that is, labels having a pressure sensitive adhesive on a face thereof, either for the automatic application labels to articles or for the delivery of successive labels to a dispensing position, the pressure sensitive labels are carried on and by a support tape and are releasably secured thereto by the pressure sensitive adhesive. In order to facilitate the dispensing or removal of a leading label from the supporting tape it is generally necessary that the forward end of the leading labels project spacially from the tape and that the trailing end thereof remain in engagement with the tape so as to support the label inva forwardly projectingcantilevered manner. It is common practice to advance the label-carrying tape around a sharp separating edge thereby to effect the partial separation of the label from the tape for the subsequent dispensing or application of the label to an object or package. This has posed problems in connection with accurately sensing the position of the leading label relative to the separating edge and in connection with continuously closely controlling -the position of a label carried by -an advancing support band.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a label sensing device of the above nature, characterized by its simplicity, ruggedness, accuracy and versatility. The above and other objects of the present invention will become apparent from a reading of the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a front, partially diagrammatic, view of a label printing and applying apparatus constructed according to and embodying the present invention, the labelsensing device being illustrated in a label actuated p0sition; and
3,405,021 Patented Oct. 8, 1968 FIGURE 2 is a front elevational view illustrating the label sensing device in its deactuated position.
In a sense, the present invention contemplates the provision of a label-sensing device comprising a base member including an upper guide surface, a rotatable sensing member including a plurality of peripherally spaced radial projections, means rotatably supporting said sensing member for movement toward and away from said guide surface and normally urging said sensing member toward said guide surface, and an electric switch including an actuating arm engaging said sensing member and actuated thereby.
According to a preferred form of the present device, there is provided an elongated guide arm swingably supported at its trailing end and being downwardly forwardly inclined, terminating in a transversely extending sharp separator edge. A bracket is mounted atop the leading section of the guide arm. The bracket includes a pair of transversely-spaced bracket arms projecting beyond the separator edge and supporting at their free ends a transversely extending label-applying roller. A switch mounting plate is swingably mounted between the bracket arms and at its lower leading end has journalled a sensing member-defining star wheel positioned above and directly rearwardly of the separator edge gravity urged toward the top face of the guide arm. Also carried by the mounting plate is a switch provided with an actuating arm engaging the star wheel.
Referring now to the drawing, which illustrates a preferred embodiment of the present invention, reference numeral 10 generally designates the improved apparatus, which includes a label-applying section 11, a label printing section 12 and a control network 13. Articles or packages A, to which pressure sensitive labels L are to be individually applied, are advanced through a labelling station in registry with the label applying means by any suitable conveyor such as an endless belt 14. Means are provided for sensing a package A at the labelling station and for sensing the position of a leading label for controlling, through the network 13, the actuation of label feed section 11 and printing section 12. The pressure-sensitive labels L are carried in longitudinally spaced end-to-end arrangement by an elongated support tape T to which the labels L releasably adhere by means of the pressure sensitive cement coating the underfaces of the labels L. The label-carrying tape T is provided in a roll R with the labels L facing radially inwardly.
Label-applying section 11 comprises a downwardly forwardly inclined swingable guide arm 17 having a fiat top face and terminating at its bottom leading end in a transversely extending beveled sharp separator edge 18.
The trailing end of guide arm 17 is affixed, at its under-' face, to a horizontal rockable shaft 19 which is spring urged clockwise to a predetermined position wherein the leading end of the guide arm 17 is positioned slightly above the path of the conveyor 14.
The label-carrying tape roll R is rotatably supported on a transverse spindle 22 above labelling section 11, and the label-carrying tape T is led therefrom through printing station 12 and to labelling station 11 by an upper pair of front and rear guide rolls 23 and 24 respectively, and a lower guide roll 26 disposed in vertical alignment with the upper rear roll 24 and rearwardly of and tangent to the top face of guide arm 17. Positioned below the trailing end of guide arm 17 is a pair of horizontal rollers 29 and 30, spring urged toward each other, at least one of the rollers preferably being rubber covered. Roller 30 is connected to and positively controllably intermittently driven by a suitably energized drive motor M by way of an electrically controlled clutch and brake assembly C. Roller 30 is connected to the input shaft of clutch assembly C, the
3 output shaft of which is coupled, through a speed reduction unit 32, to the drive shaft of the motor M. Also connected to and continuously driven by the motor M, through speed reduction unit 32, is a pulley 33 coupled by a slipping belt 34 to a pulley 36 provided with a spindle 37 carrying a tape take-up roll 38 slip driven to wind up the label-depleted tape T which is fed thereto by the rolls 29 and 30. Clutch and brake assembly C is electrically connected to the output of control network 13.
Printing assembly 12 includes a suitably supported vertical mounting plate 39 located within the path traversed by tape T around guide rolls 23, 24 and 26 and a stationary platen 40 supported rearwardly of a line extending tangentially between the rear surfaces of vertically spaced rollers 24 and 26, and having a forwardly directed front face substantially lying along said tangential line. A vertical toggle lever 41 is mounted, by means of a pivot pin 42, to the upper rear section of plate 39 for rocking about a transverse axis intermediate the ends of the lever. Directed rearwardly and integrally formed with lever 41 is a short leg 43 which terminates in a depending toe 44. A suitably inked printing platen 46 is mounted on the lower rear face of toe 46 in confronting engagement with stationary platen 40 and sandwiching label-carrying tape T therebetween when lever 41 is swung to its clockwise print position.
A helical tension spring 47 is connected between a stationary pin 48 located on plate 39 rearwardly and at about the level of the pivot pin 42 and a pin mounted on and intermediate the ends of lever 41 and forward of pivot pin 42. Thus, lever 41 and platen-carrying toe 44 are alternately urged to an advanced print position or a retracted position by spring 47 as lever 41 is rocked to either side of its equilibrium position. In order to advance and retract platen 46 there is provided a pair of longitudinally extending upper and lower solenoids 50 and 51 respectively, which are electrically connected to the output of control network 13 and are alternately energized thereby. The upper or print solenoid 50 includes a longitudinally movable armature which is coupled by a rod 52 to the upper end of lever 41, and the lower or retract solenoid 51 likewise includes a longitudinally movable armature which is coupled by a rod 53 to the lower end of lever 41.
Directed upwardly from the side edges of guide arm 17 are a pair of transversely spaced vertical bracket plates 56 which support by and between their upper trailing corners a transversely extending horizontal axle 57. Swingably mounted on axle 57 are a pair of parallel, forwardly downwardly inclined transversely spaced bracket arms 58 of parallelogram configuration substantially abutting the inner faces of bracket plates 56. The upper trailing corners of bracket arms 58 are rigidly joined by a transversely extending sleeve 59 which rotatably engages axle 57. The bottom edges of bracket arms 58 are parallel to and at approximately the level of or shortly above the top face of guide arm 17 when the bracket member is in its lower operable position, as illustrated in the drawings. A suitable latching mechanism is provided for selectively locking the bracket member in its operative position or for releasing it for swinging about axle 57 to a raised position to permit the threading of the apparatu's with label-carrying tape T. A transversely extending label-applying pressure roller 60 is supported by and between the lower forward corners of bracket arms 58 and has a bottom periphery forward of and below separating edge 18.
A pair of substantially triangular, vertical, parallel suitably joined mounting plates 61 is positioned between bracket arms 58, and is supported thereon for swinging about the trailing upper corners of the plates 61 by a transverse axle 63 journalled between the bracket arms. A transverse axle 64 is supported by and between the lower corners of the mounting plates 61 and rotatably carries a label-sensing star wheel 65 above and shortly rearwardly of separator edge 18. Star wheel 65 includes a plurality 4., y of cireumferentially spaced teeth 66 having relatively sharp rear faces 67 almost radial relative to the axis of the wheel. Thus, as seen in FIGURE 2 of the drawing, when star wheel is in its depressed position with a pair of successive teeth resting on guide-carried tape T, the face 67 of the star wheel tooth 65 engaging labelcarrying tape T is slightly inclined forwardly and upwardly relative to the top face of the guide arm 17.
Mounted on and between mounting plates 61 and along the upper edges thereof is a switch 68 of the microswitch type including a casing 69 having a rearwardly directed resilient actuating arm 70 connected at its leading end to the leading section of casing 69. Actuating arm 70 bears on a switch actuating plunger 71 and is provided at its trailing free end with 0. depending bracket 72 which supports a follower comprising roller 73 engaging the periphery of star wheel '65. Switch -68 is normally open, with arm 70 in its lowered position and the follower 73 registering with the space between successive star wheel teeth 66. However, when the leading edge of the next-to-leading label L relative to separator edge 18 engages the rear face 67 of the trailing lowermost wheel tooth 66, the star wheel 65 is rotated counterclockwise by the advancing label, as viewed in the drawings. With the rotation of star wheel 65 follower roller 73 is raised by a tooth 66 to the apex thereof, as seen in FIGURE 1 of the drawing, thereby to raise actuating arm 70 and close switch 68.
Circuit network 13 is such as to deenergize clutch C, brake the drive to roller 30 and energize print solenoid 50 with the closing of the switch 68. A sensing switch 74 is provided with an actuating arm 76 disposed in the path of the advancing packages or articles A, forward of applicator roller 60, and is electrically connected to control circuit 13. The control network 13 functions so that upon actuation of switch 74 solenoid 51 is actuated and clutch C is energized for an interval a little more than sufficient to advance tape T and the leading label L thereon and to rotate the star wheel 65 past its position of actuation of the switch 68, the clutch C remaining energized until the switch 68 is actuated. The control network disclosed in the copending patent application Ser. No. 365,658, filed May 7, 1964 in the name of Herbert W. Marano is highly suitable for use as the network 13.
Considering now the operation of the apparatus described above, in a ready condition awaiting the delivery of an article A to the labelling station, the front edge of an advancing leading label L engages the rear face of a star wheel tooth 65 which has been previously advanced to a position where the apex of another star wheel tooth bears on follower 73 to raise arm 70 thereof and to activate switch 68, as illustrated in FIGURE 1. In the absence of actuation of switch 74 clutch C and roller 30 are deenergized and tape T held stationary, and solenoid 50 energized and platen 46 advanced. Upon an article or package A engaging arm 76 and actuating switch 74, solenoid 51 is energized to retract platen 46 and the clutch C is energized to drive roller 30 and advance tape T along the upper face of guide arm 17 around separator edge 18 and thence rearwardly to be taken up. As the leading label L advances to and past separator edge 18, the sharp rearward movement of the tape around edge 18 detaches the forward edge of the label from tape T and advances it in cantilevered fashion to the underface of roller 60 which presses it into adherent engagement with the top face of an advancing package or article A.
With the advance of a leading label L, star wheel 65 rotates counterclockwise until the two lowermost teeth 66 engage the upper surface of the label and slide therealong, follower 73 engaging an intertooth recess to effect the lowering of arm 70 and deactuating switch 68. Tape T thus advances until the front edge of the next successive label L engages the trailing tooth rear face 67 to rotate star wheel 65 to a position wherein switch 68 is actuated, to deenergize clutch C and to stop the advance of the tape and to energize solenoid 50. The apparatus is now in a condition to repeat the above cycle.
While there has been described and illustrated a preferred embodiment of the above invention it is apparent that numerous alterations, omissions and additions may be made without departing from the spirit thereof.
What is claimed is:
1. A label-applying apparatus comprising a longitudinally extending applicator arm terminating in a leading transverse separator edge, means for advancing a labelcarrying tape forwardly along the upper face of said arm and about said separator edge and thence rearwardly, a support member mounted by and above said applicator arm and swin'gable about a transverse axis, a star wheel with radially inclined teeth rotatable about a transverse axis carried by said support member and movable and normally urged therewith toward said applicator arm upper face, a bottom pair of said teeth being adapted to rest on said guide arm upper face, and the trailing of said pair of teeth having an upwardly forwardly directed rear face, a follower bearing on the periphery of said star wheel, and an electric switch mounted on said support member and responsive to said follower.
2. The label-applying apparatus of claim 1, wherein said switch actuating arm terminates in a depending bracket and comprising a roller defining said follower and supported by said bracket.
3. The label applying apparatus of claim 1 including a bracket arm supported by said applicator arm and projecting forwardly of said separator edge and a transversely extending wiper member supported by the free end of said bracket arm forward of said separator edge,
7 said support member being mounted on said bracket arm.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,039,516 6/1962 Vinal 15636l 3,23 8,080 3/1966 Schluter 156351 3,240,652 3/1966 La Mers 156361 3,321,105 2/1964 Marano 22122 1,069,610 8/1913 Gaulke 200l53.13 2,956,437 10/1960 Opocensky 200153.13
' FOREIGN PATENTS 172,916 9/ 1960 Sweden.
EARL M. BERGERT, Primary Examiner.
T. R. SAVOIE, Assistant Examiner.